A charity funded clinic helping former cancer patients suffering with life impacting side-effects from treatment has been given a ‘lifeline’ from a Barrow organisation.

The Sir John Fisher Foundation has given £20,000 to the Late Effects PRD (Pelvic Radiation Disease) Clinic at Rosemere Cancer Centre, south Cumbria and Lancashire’s regional specialist cancer treatment and radiotherapy centre at the Royal Preston Hospital, to ensure it keeps treating patients into its second year despite the pandemic.

The clinic opened last February after Rosemere Cancer Foundation agreed to fund its set-up and running costs for its first three years – a commitment of £283,521.

After that time, it was expected that the clinic would be self-financing, receiving payment from hospital trusts across South Cumbria and Lancashire in return for successfully treating hundreds of patients.

However, the pandemic has severely hit the foundation’s ability to fundraise and reduced the number of patients seeking help.

Rosemere’s chief officer, Dan Hill, said: “The award from the Sir John Fisher Foundation is a lifeline for the PRD Clinic.

“The clinic is a project we have wanted to undertake for many years as our whole focus is about improving the lives of local cancer patients whether they are present or past patients.”

Approximately half of all patients who undergo radical radiotherapy to the pelvic area for cancers such as cervical, womb, prostate cancer and bowel and bladder cancers, are likely to be left with life impacting side-effects post treatment.

These side-effects can include incontinence, diarrhoea, constipation, excessive wind, bloating, tummy cramps, bleeding from the bottom, vaginal bleeding, blood in the urine, painful intercourse and erectile dysfunction, as well as aching around the pelvis and lower back and swelling in the legs.

1,000 new patients from across the two counties undergo radical pelvic radiotherapy annually at Rosemere Cancer Centre – with roughly a quarter from the Barrow peninsula and other areas of the South Lakes.

Mr Hill added: “I would urge anyone suffering PRD symptoms to simply contact their consultant and ask for a clinic referral. It could make a big difference to their quality of life.”

David Dawson, executive of the Sir John Fisher Foundation, said: “The board of trustees is pleased to be able to fund support during this difficult period for those suffering from the effects of Pelvic Radiation Disease in the Lancashire and South Cumbria area.”